Jury Finds Valley Doctor Guilty in Health Care Fraud Trial
MCALLEN — A jury on Wednesday found a Rio Grande Valley doctor guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
After a month-long trial, the jury found Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada, 63, of Mission guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice and seven counts of health care fraud.
Prosecutors accused Zamora-Quezada of administering unnecessary treatments, including medicine commonly used to treat cancer but administered at lower doses in rheumatology, for profit. They also secured an indictment against his wife, billing supervisor and money manager.
In a news release, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas described Zamora-Quezada's medical practice as a "$240 million health care fraud and international money laundering scheme." During the trial, defense attorneys said the billing data presented by the government was inflated and argued that prosecutors were including other cases not covered by the investigation.
Zamora-Quezada strenuously denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.
His wife — Meisy Zamora, 59, of Mission, who supervised her husband’s employees — was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
The jury also found Estella Santos Natera, the doctor’s billing supervisor, not guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa dismissed money laundering and obstruction of justice charges against Meisy Zamora and Natera on Monday. The judge also dismissed a money laundering charge against Felix Ramos, who managed the doctor’s money.
Correction: Due to an editing error, this story incorrectly stated that Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada was convicted on eight counts of health care fraud. He was convicted on seven counts.